"Reverse Permissibility" in the Renewable Energy Sector: Going Beyond the US-India Solar Cells Dispute

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Abstract

Recent years have witnessed a rise in conflict between WTO members over the use of state subsidies designed to promote the renewable energy sector. Government subsidies are seen by domestic polic-ymakers as a key catalyst in attracting foreign investment, building capacity, and meeting other domestic policy goals. However, subsidies and other state incentivization programmes often carry trade-distorting effects. This paper examines the current state of WTO law and jurisprudence on subsidies extended to achieve environmental goals, in particular the Canada-Renewable Energy/Feed-in Tariff case and the more recent India-Solar Cells case which higlights the localization problem in the renewable energy sector. The case outcome shows that the WTO continues to maintain the status quo by prioritizing free trade over environmental considerations. The paper also discusses the possibility of reform in the GATT/WTO framework for promotion of renewable energy initiatives while maintaining the integrity of the system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)322-349
Number of pages28
JournalAsian Journal of International Law
Volume8
Issue number2
Early online date6 Dec 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2018

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renewable energy
WTO
subsidy
India
government subsidies
GATT
domestic policy
free trade
jurisprudence
foreign investment
integrity
promotion
Canada
reform
Law

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abstract = "Recent years have witnessed a rise in conflict between WTO members over the use of state subsidies designed to promote the renewable energy sector. Government subsidies are seen by domestic polic-ymakers as a key catalyst in attracting foreign investment, building capacity, and meeting other domestic policy goals. However, subsidies and other state incentivization programmes often carry trade-distorting effects. This paper examines the current state of WTO law and jurisprudence on subsidies extended to achieve environmental goals, in particular the Canada-Renewable Energy/Feed-in Tariff case and the more recent India-Solar Cells case which higlights the localization problem in the renewable energy sector. The case outcome shows that the WTO continues to maintain the status quo by prioritizing free trade over environmental considerations. The paper also discusses the possibility of reform in the GATT/WTO framework for promotion of renewable energy initiatives while maintaining the integrity of the system.",
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"Reverse Permissibility" in the Renewable Energy Sector : Going Beyond the US-India Solar Cells Dispute. / Ghori, Umair.

In: Asian Journal of International Law, Vol. 8, No. 2, 01.07.2018, p. 322-349.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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